In music, the second mode of the major scale, with the following half step/whole step progression: W-H-W-W-W-H-W.
Differs from the natural minor scale only in that it has a major sixth.
For example:
  • C Dorian contains the notes C D Eb F G A Bb
  • D Dorian contains the notes D E F G A B C
  • F# Dorian contains the notes F# G# A B C# D# E
Two ways of playing the G Dorian scale in guitar tablature form:
Three notes per string:

Staying in the same neck position:

Chord Scale Analysis of the Dorian Mode

The Dorian Mode is the only minor mode of the major scale that isn't of the tonic quality. You'll usually run into this mode in transit from a tonic mode to a dominant mode, which makes it subdominant. The Dorian mode takes a Minor seven chord, but it may also take a Minor Six, due to the natural six. It also, much like the Lydian mode, has no avoid notes. Just be sure to note that the six is used very rarely in chord construction due to the flat seven.

Analysis of D Dorian

D (root)

E (Major Ninth, or nine)

F (Minor third, or flat three)

G (Perfect Eleventh, or eleven)

A (Perfect fifth, or five)

B (Major Thirteenth, thirteen, Major sixth, or six)

C (Minor Seventh, or flat seven)

The Major Six

What makes the dorian mode so dorian is the Major Six. In the Phrygian, Aeolian (natural minor), and Locrian modes, the six is minor, or flat. You can use this to you advantage while writing melodies and in the use of the minor six chord, however, you must never, ever, never use it as thirteenth if you include the seventh in the voicing above it. Unless you really like the sound of ...(dramatic chromatic music ensues) THE DREADED FLAT NINE! As I've said before and I'll most likely say again, nothing can take a chord voicing from harmonious to ass-tastic faster then a flat nine used in the wrong fashion. Also be sure to voice the nine higher then the third for the same reason. 11/22/2004: Updated the write up because I'm stupid. A thirteen over a minor seven is a Major Seventh, the minor seven over the thirteen is either a minor second (no no no) or a flat nine.

Do"ri*an (?), a.


Of or pertaining to the ancient Greeks of Doris; Doric; as, a Dorian fashion.

2. Mus.

Same as Doric, 3.

"Dorian mood."


Dorian mode Mus., the first of the authentic church modes or tones, from D to D, resembling our D minor scale, but with the B natural.



© Webster 1913.

Do"ri*an, n.

A native or inhabitant of Doris in Greece.


© Webster 1913.

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